Editorial: As omicron continues to spread, it's a good idea to continue masking up

For those of you who wear a mask -- and wear it correctly -- while in public, around other people or when you're not able to social distance to help stem to spread of COVID-19, we thank you. Keep it up.

For those of you who wear a mask -- incorrectly -- while in public, around other people or when you're not able to social distance, let's fix that.

While we are out and about, we've seen people wearing masks in creative ways. Some wear their face covering like a chin strap on a football helmet. Others let the mask dangle from one ear. Lanyards have become a popular addition to a mask, as we've seen them completely on the lanyard and not on the wearer's face. Some people wear a mask so that it's only covering their mouth, or only covering their forehead, or only covering their neck -- leaving their nose fully exposed.

A mask does little good if it's not snugly covering your nose and mouth.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises most people to wear a mask or face covering that goes completely over your nose and mouth "to help protect others in case you're infected with COVID but don't have symptoms." Studies have shown that face coverings can help reduce the spread of COVID.

Here are the most up-to-date CDC guidelines on masking:

• Everyone 2 years or older who is not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in indoor public places.

• In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.

• In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

• People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.

• If you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection and prevent possibly spreading COVID-19 to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.

• Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and train stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus).

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